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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 18, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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even if we don't like certain things about him we know him. that's got to be better whoever the gop puts up. >> all right. more from my future presidential campaign manager. >> i want to be the vp. >> whatever you want. we get in there you get first pick. >> that's nice. >> that's the american way. i thought we weren't supposed to get rid of that. i'm dylan ratigan. it's a pleasure to have touri back on the desk. "hardball" is up next. >> to the shores of tripoli. let's play "hardball". good evening i'm chris matthews in washington leading off tonight war on gadhafi. western nations say they want to see from libya's moammar gadhafi whose government announced an immediate cease-fire shortly after the u.n. voted to strike against his forces. there's no indication yet that the so-called cease-fire is anything more than a delaying
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tactic designed to keep the west out while gadhafi's forces wipe out rebels. that said the rebels were cheering and firing celebration shots in the air on hearing that the u.n. is coming. we'll get a report from nbc's richard engel who is heading in to the area. plus what country will take charge? what role will the u.s. play and did the hundredth vote come too late to stop gadhafi? will gadhafi fight for the death or accept some kind of a deal? we'll try to answer those questions as we prepare to fingt third muslim count -- fight in m country. japanese more or less admit they are overwhelmed. wow. they are ememploying it throw against the wall and see what sticks approach ahead of the u.s. nuclear commission says it could takes wakes to get this under control. score one for the unions in wisconsin. a judge has temporarily blocked that new law shrinking
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collective bargaining rights. democrats hope that's the first of many obstacles. republicans say it's a speed bump. libya. we know how we're getting in. how will we get out? we start with the growing cry slinsia. richard engel is joining us from cairo. thank you, richard. give us a sense of what's happening as the u.n. begins to take action. what is the condition of the rebel force, especially benghazi. >> reporter: the rebel force is very weak in benghazi and across the country. what happened was the rebels advanced very quickly, they took benghazi almost by surprise and then as they were riding this wave of enthusiasm, they decided to leave third stronghold benghazi. they went out the places towards the open desert and overextended their supply lines they got chopped back by gadhafi force. they have now once again
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consolidated in benghazi and hoping with air cover with this no fly zone that they can regain momentum and topple gadhafi's regime. >> why were they shooting shots of celebration in the air when they heard of the u.n. vote? >> reporter: well, they think that this u.n. vote levels the playing field right now. that gadhafi's forces won't be able to come in and carry out a massacre. there were people in benghazi and there have been every night who are terrified this is the night that there will be some sort of chemical attack, a massive artillery attack, an air raid and the in international community would sit back and watch. now they are saying it's not acceptable and if there's a massacre or an incident like that that there would be an immediate military response. >> let me ask you to give me your assessment, richard, of what it means to say the united
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states has unique capabilities. this is what the president said a few hours ago. let's listen to what he said. this is something to try to figure out right now. here so, the president. >> we will provide the unique capabilities that we can bring to bear to stop the violence against civilians, including enabling our european allies and arab partners to effectively enforce a no fly zone. >> that's the question. unique capability sounds like we have the air power. is that what he means? >> reporter: it's not just air power. the u.s., what does the u.s. have uniquely and it's not our charm and ability to make apple pie. there are some unique capacities that the u.s. has. intelligence, satellites, it has aircraft carriers, which would be very important for any kind of no fly zone. it has satellite cover. so there are some enablers and the fact he used enabler is strategic. the u.s. can provide the platform for a sustained air
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cover over libya that the european countries simply do not have. it's not just "the fighter" jets. it's all of the support mechanisms. the u.s. has more aircraft carriers than the rest of the world combined. >> is this one of the operations where it has the u.n. cover for the admission but led by the u.s., is that where we're headed at this point again? >> what i think we could be headed for is a very long operation where you have the rebels in the east in benghazi, gadhafi in tripoli and in the west to a degree, and the international community with the u.s. involved trying to level the playing field. feign the level playing field and i country where the two sides are separated by 600, 700 miles of open desert you could have a situation where the u.s. is preventing massacres but allowing a low level civil war to take place that could go on for years.
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so, this involvement could not be, might not be quick, it might be a very, very long sustained operation more like we saw in the balkans. >> what happens if gadhafi is smart and he observes the u.n. rule, which is basically don't go after civilians and simply says all right i'm going to allow all civilians who want to leave benghazi to leave. i'm going to let you leave. i'll have a sanitary car where they can leave with total safety and by the way other countries like the chinese and everybody is coming in there, they can all watch that. i'm going to be completely proper here. but i'm going after the rebels. what stops him from doing just that. i'm going after my rebels in my country. no sanction or no mandate to stop that. >> reporter: i think you were on the phone with gadhafi's strategists, because that's exactly what his strategy is going to be. just few minutes ago as i was preparing for this shot, this live shot, the deputy foreign
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minister of libya was on television saying that he wants international monitors to come in. they are urgently calling for people from around the world to come not only to tripoli but across libya to see what is actually happening on the ground, and that if there is an armed conflict that the libyan government has the right defend itself. that if it is attacked and there are combatants and this is not just a democratic movement of students, the rebels do have weapon, they are not very advanced weapons but they do have weapons. under any kind of international charter a government has the right to defend itself. that strategy of opening up a humanitarian corridor but calling for international observers to say hey we're not just killing civilian, we're fighting armed militants and the world is top see that. that's going to be -- that's what libya's next step is and a step that's already calling for. >> the libyan deputy foreign
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minister put out a word crimes against humanity have been commit fwid rebels. is he trying to get the world pinto modify itself and to give him some leeway to go after the rebels? >> he certainly is. he was talking about how the rebels have been desecrating the bodies of people they have been capturing. rebels have been taking prisoners. i've seen prisoners from gadhafi's forces that have been captured anyrebels and he's trying to get the world to see that gadhafi is not just crushing a bunch of unarmed student protesters like has been the case in egypt, like was the case in yemen today, he's trying to show that this is an armed n insurrection. there's civil war that happened in the luns. when the north didn't want the
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south to break away. >> can you detect a conflict within our administration between the secretaries of state and defense just a few days ago it seems the secretary of defense laid out the role we should not get in a war in the middle east. you would have to be out of your mind. you would have to have your head examined to do it. here we are basically leading it looks like a u.n. effort to go into another arab country, perhaps not on the ground but we're going in by air with everything we got. my question is there a conflict in doctrine between hillary clinton the secretary of state and bob gates? >> reporter: i really am not privy to the conversations that they have been having among themselves but there does seem to be clear contradiction in if you don't want to get involved warren and then declaring yourselves to be involved and i international no fly zone. there seems to be also be a conflict of morality.
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the u.s. doesn't want to just sit become idly by and allow a massacre to happen. the u.s. has experience with gadhafi. the u.s. knows what the regime in libya is capable of doing without international action and without specifically u.s. action. the president said tonight that there's every reason to believe that without international action or at least the threat of action that gadhafi would carry out atrocities against his people. that's certainly what the people of benghazi do believe and i think the u.s. and the president felt this moral obligation to at least use the threat of force and probably back it up if those atrocities take place but not to launch a ground war to go in and remove gadhafi themselves. that's why i think this could be a very protracted conflict with the u.s. providing this kind of balancing act to keep the two sides together fighting a fair conflict and a fair conflict in libya, we have the rebels in benghazi and gadhafi in tripoli
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and the armed forces somewhat neutralized or at least put on the shelf could take a very long time. >> great reporting as always. richard engel in cairo tonight. up next what will this resolution against libya mean for us? will we take the lead or fighting yet another war in a third muslim country? how much of this will be an american war. that's a big question as we go into the weekend. we'll try to answer it in the next few minutes. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. >> i also want to be clear about what we will not be doing. the united states is not going to deploy ground troops into libya. and we are not going tose force to go beyond a well defined goal. specifically the protection of civilians in libya. my card lets me work out more. ♪ and ours lets us eat out more. aarp helps us do our favorite thing.
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obviously the united states is very pleased with yesterday's vote. it sent a strong message that needs to be heeded. the efforts by the international community to come together to make clear to colonel gadhafi that he cannot continue his violence against his own people, he cannot continue to attack those who started out by peacefully demonstrating for changes that are within the
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right of any human being. >> there you have it. secretary of state hillary clinton. welcome back to "hardball". that was secretary of state clinton today. the former ambassador to israel and uae and we're also joined by mark thompson. let me ask you, mr. ambassador. i read two things. one the united states through our president reading a very particular u.n. resolution. we're going in with no fly zone and some other effort gross tent civilians. then i hear the secretary of state with a very firm voice saying we're going after gas pi. are we going in to enforce a u.n. resolution from text civilians or going into the topple gadhafi piece by piece. >> maybe she feels he won't pay attention to the resolution. >> does the president have the same perception? >> think so. >> we're starting at first base, heading for a home run.
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we'll start with this resolution. here's my question. if gadhafi is as smart as he might be, he'll say i'll observe the resolution, i'll not go after civilian, i'll let them leave benghazi. you can't go at me beyond the resolution. i'll survive. >> he can't survive if he acts like that. he's got to still maintain that image of being all powerful, otherwise he loses. he's got a whole group of people ready to come after him if -- he's made a lot of enemies. >> really? >> so i don't think he can afford to look weak or to back down in the face of international pressure. >> here's more of secretary clinton today on the cease-fire. let's watch. >> now we've seen press reports of a cease-fire by the libyan government. this is a fluid and dynamic situation. we are going to be not response jennifer or impressed by words. we would have to see actions on
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the ground. and that is not yet at all clear. >> that's the look of hillary clinton. didn't you get a sense she was president. i'm not knocking it. didn't she look eletronic? she looks like she knows what she's doing. she doesn't want gadhafi there five more minutes. the president is working at a balancing act. she seems to know what she's doing. she's much more hawkish, a couple of notches. >> she made clear today she doesn't know where this will end up. the president on march 3rd said he must go. the president didn't say that today. >> he already said it. why st. again. >> with the backing of the united nations you would like to have the clout. they continue have egypt or saudi arabia, chris, on their side in this effort. they don't have the u.s. congress behind them. the military people i'm talk are very leery.
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>> i thought egyptians are arming the rebels. >> they are but that's different than doing this no fly zone. >> in the arab world which you covered, are the young people, people in their 20s and 30s sitting in cafes in damascus and cairo rooting for us to go in there and whack that guy. >> they are rooting fours. it's a different generation. they are not the generation of their fathers. gadhafi represents the generation of their fathers and of the 50-year-old, 70-year-old leaders of the arab world. they want new change. they want a new generation coming in to take over. >> even if it means the west toppling their guys. >> look, i'll play devil's advocate -- what are we doing do we see demonstrations in the streets. do we see screaming for people to come in. i don't see the arab street
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revolting. >> the arab street. we got trouble in bahrain and yemen. we're not getting involved in there because they are our allies. plainly as the ambassador says this is not a national thing this is a generational thing. >> where do you think u.s. policy is taking us over the next couple of weeks? >> we're on the edge of a slippery slope. somebody in the pentagon said they are not concerned that the president has tunnel vision but he has funnel vision. we're getting sucked in. >> who is this smart person? >> i can't tell you. >> what do you think, mr. ambassador? do you think we're being sucked in? are we going more and more into this quick sand of the middle east again into more and more of a role of war? >> if hillary has her way, yes because she's not going to put up with a repeat or replay of
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rwanda. >> you're one of those. you believe this is bill clinton and hillary clinton afraid of another rwanda. . >> absolutely. we'll get back to that and i moment. here's more from president obama today. let's listen. . >> it is not an action we will pursue alone. indeed our british and french allies and members of the arab league have already committed to take a leadership role in the enforcement of this resolution. just as they were instrumental in pursuing it. we're coordinating closely with them. and this is precisely how the international community should work, as more nations bear both the responsibility and the cost of enforcing international law. >> well that was very sanitary mr. ambassador. he's talking about a member of the united nations 0 observing the resolution. here's my question. are we more dramatic in what we intend to do. secretary of state clinton is leading the fight loaded for bear, they believe this was a big mistake not going in
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somewhere. you say we're going in because of her. >> if there's a massacre of citizens of benghazi, the president will never live it down. >> you with that? >> no. i think that's right. i think that's right. that's part of the problem the president find himself in. the resolution is number 1973. iranic as you well know that's the war of powers resolution. >> didn't know that but i'll remember that. >> we're going in without any congressional support. if a u.s. pilot were shot down or civilians to be massacred in benghazi the president would be in deep, deep quick sand. >> no more pilots shot down northeastern rwanda. thank you, guys for covering all the bases. up next from the crisis in libya to the cry since japan. u.s. officials say the nuclear crisis in japan is worse than three mile island. category five. we'll get to the late zwroeft avert an all out meltdown.
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welcome back to "hardball". japan has raised its rating of that nuclear disaster to a level five. former member of the nuclear regulatory commission said the crisis even surpasses three mile island. that's the standard. there it is on that score there on that grid. time is running out as emergency workers raise a full blown meltdown and nuclear chain reaction. more on the desperate situation. let's turn to mike freelander. david albright who is a former nuclear weapons inspector and president of the institute for science international security. well, michael let's go to this whole question. what does it mean to go to five? >> well, probably the more relevant point is what does it mean to be somewhere near three mile island.
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the real bottom line is we have a situation where the nuclear complex has been compromised as a result of a station blackout. the reactors have a very limited cooling for some period of time and have released some form of their nuclear radioactivity and the issue that makes this similar to three mile island is the reactor. the thing that makes it more complex is we don't have one reactor that's affected here, we have four plus a large fuel pool. >> what's your worry now that it's reached five. does that mean it will keep heading upwards in terms of horror? >> chris, the real core issue, no pun intended to get out of this is getting power restored to the facility and i just saw reports this morning that tepco has been able to bring in power lines from a neighboring electric utility and getting power restored to those
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facilities is absolutely crucial to getting us out of the woods here. once we get power restored things will recover quite quickly. >> are you confident that the power restored would mean the pumps activated? >> remember, the safety systems that are in the power plants are designed to with stand the seismic event. so i'm quite hopeful and they have redundant multiple safety systems within each facility. i'm confident that one they get power restored and start recovering the systems in a very systemic fashion they should be able to could bel together a series of pieces of equipment that will enable them to get out of this. >> let me go to david. let he had ask you about the question where this -- we're looking at basically years and years of dead zone in japan, around these facilities no matter where it goes, there's not a country you can safely live work in.
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>> most of the radiation went out the sea and there's been some significant releases. you can see it in some of the readings. most of the time the radiation was going out the sea. the site itself is going to be, is probably going to have to be carefully monitored. some of the react ors have to be intun entombed. >> surround by lots of concrete? >> lots of concrete. the area -- there assistant lot of information on the amount of radioactivity in the environment. that's one of the indicators on how much land is actually contaminated. >> translate this into people's normal worries. the reason why people are watching these programs is because they think it's an object lesson in the use of nuclear weapons, nuclear technology and they worry that even event in japan will somehow have an influence on the people there and also the people here. >> radiation causes dread and people are worried about getting cancer or other illnesses. >> should they be.
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>> they should be but not in this case in the united states. i think the risk will be very low. >> how about over there? >> over there it's a different story. they didn't evacuate as many people as the u.s. recommended. the dose rates i've been looking at them for a couple of days, i think the united states made the right decision. >> 50 miles. 19 wasn't good enough. >> be careful. definitely be careful with this. and one of the reasons you're also careful is, the people will be assured, they will have higher assurance they won't face a risk later. >> we're getting word right now, michael, that the japanese government has gotten to the point of overcoming its pride and sense of self-reliance and asking for help from the outside. what was that about? just looking at this calmly, there was a failure on their part to see what they couldn't do and what they needed help to do? >> well, chris, i think one thing the japanese certainly don't need notice apologize for them. we have to remember that outside
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of the nuclear complex itself, they were dealing with a catastrophe of biblical proportions and this catastrophe would have overwhelmed virtually any organization in the world, i believe. and i certainly, there's no doubt, though, i think on an on going forward basis we have to realize and i catastrophe like this, everybody globally should rise to their needs and certainly they should have asked for help earlier. no doubt. >> the tsunami was so overwhelming. >> the disaster. in some cases we know that they were literally moved using bulldozers to clear roads in toward bring in emergency crews to the nuclear facility. >> gentlemen thank you for coming on. have a great weekend. a program note tonight at 10:00 eastern, rather 11:00 eastern, special edition, caught in
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camera, caught on camera the disaster in japan. coming up, has the cry since japan ended the nuclear energy industry in this country as we know it? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
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i have your cnbc market wrap. a solid rally to closed out a week that was rocked by global uncertainty. the dow jones industrial surging 85 points. still ending below 12,000. s&p 500 added five, nasdaq tacked on seven. all major indices are lower for the week due to concerns about
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japan, the middle east, the u.s. economy, and also resurfacing worries about whether or not europe can payback its debt. banks helped turn things around after the federal reserve noted significant improvement when it bombs stress testing. that unleash ad flood of dividend hikes and stock buy backs by the major banks. i'm prices eased slightly. u.s. crude is still trading above $100 a barrel. japanese stocks rebounded after g7 makeses said they would step into the restrain a soaring yen. ibm advanced despite s.e.c. is charging them with bribe being officials in south korea and china. that's it from cnbc. we're first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball". that's it. that's it. >> here at home nuclear power is an important part of our own
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energy future along with renewable resources like wind so, lar, natural gas and clean coal. >> president obama made clear despite the japanese disaster nuclear power would still be part of our energy mix. but he added that the u.s. would use this disaster to redouble safety efforts here. let's listen. >> our nuclear power plants have undergone exhaustive study and have been declared safe for any number of extreme contingencies. when we see a crisis like the one in japan we have a response fwoilt learn from this evident and to draw from those lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people. >> so what does japan's nuclear disaster mean for the future of nuclear power here in the u.s.? ann thompson, environmental affairs correspondent and johanna newman for the u.s. public interest group and opposes nuclear power.
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thank you for joining us. app gives us a sense. we have 104 nuclear power plants in the u.s. how safe are they. >> that's what the government is going to try to find out. i can give you one little factoid. 93 of those plants loin have back up battery capability for four hours. 11 of those plants have back up battery capability for eight hours. eight hours is what japan required and it was not nearly enough as we have seen because, first of all, the diesel generators that were supposed to power those cooling systems were wiped out by the tsunami and they went to the battery packs and the battery packs only lasted eight hours. we have this horrible situation on our hand. much like the bp situation what you're going to see here is a review of safety precautions, and probably stricter standards for the nuclear power plants to live up to make sure they are indeed as safe as they claim. >> johanna, your view on this
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question. what do we do as americans faced with our gluttony for energy. we have diesel and nuclear. what do we use if we get rid of nuclear? >> that's a great question. chris, i think the situation in japan really does underscore that nuclear power is inherently dangerous and it's impossible to make a nuclear reactor fail safe. so, as we move forward we have to ask ourselves whether we're willing to have what's happening in japan happen here in the united states. and if the answer to that question is no, then we have to reject nuclear power and transition to safer alternatives. >> people get on airplanes all the time knowing that there's a chance a plane will crash because it's a way to get somewhere rather quickly and to go over land would take most of your life to do it. it comes down the question, again, of efficiency and options. what are the options to nuclear
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energy? what's an option? i understand exactly what you're saying and we're all in the same fish bowl now. we see the dangers. we agree on that. if we all see the same thing we'll have to make a choice and the choice will have to be somewhat democratic. are the american people willing to give up the energy demands they are making now in the short term until we find something better than nuclear? >> i think america definitely has the ingenuity and innovation and talent to transition to a safe energy future. and then, the energy, the safe energy resources are at our fingertips. we just need to tap them. for example by improving efficiency over the next 20 years or so we could free up as much electricity as is generated at 100 nuclear power plants in this country. and then just look at the vast safe energy resources that exist in this country. we have offshore wind potential off the coast of virginia. there's enough wind that blows across the great plains to power
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the entire united states. and the sun is constantly shining on vast portions of arizona -- >> do we have the base load capacity to do that? can we load up that capacity? can we get the wind and hold. >> it's >> no. >> stoirt. that's our problem. let me go back to -- i understand your advocacy. let me go to ann. looking at this objectively, is there any way to see an alternative down in the near term to nuclear in this country? >> there's no immediate alternative, chris. especially if we're going to transition to a clean energy economy. look, we do have great wind resources and we have great solar resources but the problem is they are not what's called base load or on demand energy sources. you don't have access to them 24 hours a day and we still haven't figured out a way to build batteries big enough to store that energy. so that's one problem. clean coal doesn't exist today. coal is not a clean technology as it exists today.
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they are working on something called carbon capture and storage. there's a pilot plant over in germany that is doing that but in the u.s., doesn't exist. and nuclear power makes up about 20% of our energy needs. and unless we're either willing to go on an energy diet, or willing to burn more coal or do something else, nuclear is still going to be part of our energy equation. >> let me get back to johanna. what do you think of president obama in terms of his policy on nuclear. i notice, having followed the democrats all these years until recently they were very anti-nuclear. with so much with energy, depending on mid east oil or whatever the dirtiness of coal they've come back to it and said okay it's the least of all the terrors. now we see it is the terror, the worst of all terror, perhaps but what do you think of the president's position? >> the president has ordered a comprehensive safety assessment
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at the 104 nuclear reactors current lie operating in the united states. that's a prudent first step. but right now nuclear is an industry in the united states that's benefitted from 40 years of government welfare. right now there are $36 billion in taxpayer subsidies going the nuclear industry. we would like to see that redirected to truly safe sources of energy like energy efficiency and wind and solar. the other point, chris, is that wall street won't touch nuclear power with a 10-foot pole whereas you have venture capital firms and entities like google making real investments in clean energy. >> up can't insure it. that's right. the bottom line is if nuclear were safe you could get an insurance policy on it. >> that's exactly right. that's why the obama administration has stepped up and last year issued an $8 billion loan guarantee for the building of two new nuclear reactors in waynesboro, georgia
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for that very reason. i can also tell you that i know a solar panel manufacturer who can't get financing either in this country and he used to buy his solar panels in this country. he now buys them in china because he can get financing from china. so it's very -- in the alternative energy world it's very difficult to get financing. >> think the bottom line is we'll be spending a lot more effort in solar and wind over the next 20 or 30 years. we'll see if we can find a way to store it and have a capacity. thank you so much for educating us. it's one of the few times people will pay attention to this. thank you so much ann thompson, thank you johanna newman. up next a judge in wisconsin temporarily blocked that big new law out there that the republican governor got through and the legislature got through shrink collective bargaining rakts for public employees to practically nothing. is this the beginning of the end of this new law or is at it bump
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in the road. the democrats are hopeful it's the death knell of this thing. it's about what they did right. that 24 hour rule did they obey or disobey it. this sharrod bais "hardball", o msnbc. our investment professionals work with you to help you make the most of your retirement and enjoy the life you've saved for. fidelity investments. where leading companies and millions of people go to get the real answers they need. call today. >> it brings your best minds and their brightest ideas together. it helps the largest of companies seize opportunity like the smallest of startups. it's the network-- the intelligent, secure cisco network that lets your employees, partners, suppliers and customers innovate and share so you can unleash the power of your most valuable asset:
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your people. the democrats are hopeful it's just when you thought sarah palin wasn't running for president off she goes on a world tour. her first stop is india where she will share her vision of america and i speech tomorrow. then on monday she will be in israel where she will meet with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. when she returns stateside next week she will hold a town hall meeting in florida to tell us what she learned. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball". wisconsin governor scott walker was dealt a setback today when a judge issued a temporary restraining order that stops his anti-union law from taking effect. the union issue has become a rallying point for the basis of both political parties. how will the judge's ruling affect the politics of big labor. that's a phrase i haven't heard for a while. howard fineman and senior editor of "huffington post" and susan paige. howard, you first. i want seems it's a judge that's a circuit court judge that said you didn't obey these rules. these committees before they bring up to a thing to the floor like shrink of collective bargaining rights for public employees has to have a 24 waiting period. a little sun law there. it wasn't observed. it wasn't observed. just a temporary retraining order. remains to be seen what this court and other courts might do. but the longer this thing is at
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the center of debate in wisconsin, the more likely it is to become, i thinks a big issue in the national campaign now and in -- >> define the issue. >> the issue is two ways. the republicans want to define i want as greed, as that these greedy public employees, karl e. karl rove's group has a new ad out right now talking about that. >> let's watch the ad. you bring these up. you're killing me. part of the ad. the karl rove's cross roads gps group airing nationally -- not on this network. >> why did a democrat congressman say -- >> we've got to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary. >> why are democrats shutting down state capitals? to protect the system that pays unionized workers 40% more than nonunionized workers, it collects dues to back liberals to support government unions. >> they walked doors for me. they made phone calls for me.
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they turned out the vote for me. >> who is that ad aimed at? >> swing voters in red states. >> who don't like -- >> big union representation to begin with. they have right to work states and don't have collective bargaining laws and swing voters who worry about government spending who blame somebody and they'd rather blame the unions than themselves. >> puts real swing voters at a risk. republicans will win red states. talk about purple states, states like wisconsin and ohio which is the epicenter of this debate, it puts a lot of independent voters. we know from polling a lot of the states that a majority of supportive collective bargaining rights although they might want to curtail the costs for the plans. >> the government's election and scott walker held down wisconsin today governor scott walker would lose the opponent last november by seven points in ohio. john kasich loses to his opponent by nine points.
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some pollsters say aren't quite as accurate. i love to say that -- we show a poll and say, it's not as accurate. >> some states like virginia and north carolina which president obama won as a candidate last time. this ad is aimed by swing voters in colorado and so forth. the thing about the states susan is talking about, ohio, pennsylvania, michigan, they have higher percentages of unionized employees and government jobs are key to those economies. in my hometown of pittsburgh, cleveland, cincinnati, detroit -- government jobs, whether it's health care jobs or government worker jobs or teachers' jobs are the only jobs that there are in a lot of these places so people have a different attitude. they're not going to attack the public employees because public jobs are hope for everybody in those places. >> pittsburgh so much education. >> education, health care,
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government workers as well. >> the key voters in every election, the suburbanites, a lot left the cities, they're not organized workers. what is their attitude? the unorganized person in the inner suburb, we called them election, sears roebuck suburbs. the regular people. do they like unions? >> not always. i think often they don't. do they like teachers and firefighters and those? these are spending, the deficit. they're nervous, i think, about the idea that the republican governors in the big midwestern states are going too far. a lot of them voted for barack obama and think he went too far in one direction. the republicans are doing the same thing. >> has to do with rights too. the american people give rights to women to vote in 1921, african-americans in 1867 or whatever, '675. but they don't want to take it back. once they get it, they sort of hold, right? >> right. >> you have a right to strike.
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that's a question of collective bargaining. what people freely associate the bargain with their employer. that took a generation or two to establish the united states. if the democrats can frame it like they're trying to do in wisconsin, as an attack on a basic american right to collective bargaining which most americans believe in if they don't belong to a union, i think the democrats win. >> we know from ronald reagan's fight, this can work for republicans. >> that was a wildcat strike by public employees who were complaining not about pay, but about work conditions. they didn't like their jobs. >> a lot of people see public workers in a slightly different category than private workers. >> like them less? >> i think they don't want to -- if you -- the collective bargaining rights' argument is slightly different for public sector workers? >> thank you. when we return, thoughts and big questions about the pending action, military action in
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libya. let's be careful here, you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. [ tires squeal ]
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the third war front in this world. how we're beginning hostilities, not how they're going to end. the definition here is no-fly zone aimed at protecting civilians. that's very united nations, very dainty. then the reality behind the
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words. they need to be fully understood now before the escalation startles. why? because if we're taking steps now that we assume will be leading to further steps by gadhafi, let's decided where we're headed with this now, figure out on whose authority both here and in the region we're headed that way. do we escalate this conflict on the base of what gadhafi refuses to do? do we increase the firepower against them and the means to deliver it depending on his continued hostility against the rebels? are we counting on this to continue on our own desires course of getting him gone. are we anticipating gadhafi whacked in a way that allows us to take the u.n. mandate and reaching our goal of getting rid of a despot we don't like. we have to wonder -- why does the united states, why does europe assume a certain right over the middle east. should we do it in sub sahara africa, in asia. where but in the middle east would we be presuming to challenge a d

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